Jordanian experts weigh in on South Africa’s ICJ genocide case against Israel

Regardless of the outcome, many agree that raising the case alone might change the trajectory of global public opinion on Israel altogether.

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AMMAN – Since October 7, over 22,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed in Gaza, with tens of thousands being children. In a historic move, South Africa became the first country to file a lawsuit against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, labeling the events on the strip as genocide. As the court proceeds with the hearings in the next couple of days, the world is turning to its final resort to bring justice and halt the aggressions.اضافة اعلان

The 84-page lawsuit, submitted by South Africa to the court on December 29, includes accompanying evidence detailing Israeli occupation crimes in Gaza. The court recognized as an international body for settling disputes between countries, is urgently requested to swiftly declare that Israel has violated its obligations under international law since October 7. With many countries providing legal and evidence support, including the Kingdom, Jordan News conducted several interviews with officials, politicians, and analysts to discuss the case and its outcomes.

Jordan’s stance is honorableFormer Prime Minister Taher Al-Masri told Jordan News that Jordan's stance is honorable, precise, and appropriate. He believes that His Majesty the King's recent visit to Rwanda, a country that suffered massacres and ethnic cleansing, and the discussion of the situation in the region, especially the dangerous developments in the Gaza Strip, justify the support for South Africa's initiative.

Proves to the world that Israel is not above the law
He considered South Africa's move very important, anticipating that there would be objective and neutral details. He added “Regardless of Israel's influence and its perception of being above the law, the world has changed. The approach to shielding Israel from any punishment is fading. No matter how they try to protect Israel in court, the goal has been achieved by officially, governmentally, and humanely exposing and accusing it.”

Al-Masri expressed, "I believe that if the case goes to trial, it will take a long time, and Israel will be the subject of international discussions about the scandals and crimes it committed."

He also stated that he does not think the war will continue for long, as the US Secretary of State announced decisions two days ago to ease the fighting and strive to establish a Palestinian state.

The filing of the lawsuit is an embarrassment for Israel
Meanwhile, Former Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Al-Muasher told Jordan News that filing the lawsuit itself constitutes embarrassment for Israel in front of public opinion. Accusing Israel of war crimes and genocide undermines the Israeli narrative about the war on Gaza. He stated, "There is symbolic significance to this step. The country filing the lawsuit had suffered from the apartheid regime, fully aware of the nature of such a system. It's as if South Africa acknowledges that what is happening in Israel today is a form of apartheid."

The lawsuit does not require a unanimous decision
Muasher mentioned that the court, consisting of 15 judges from around the world, does not necessarily require a unanimous decision. A majority decision will suffice, and he believes there is a good chance of Israel being condemned. Many pieces of evidence, including statements from Israeli officials like Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who referred to Palestinians as human animals, indicate Israel's commitment to genocide. Additionally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli ministers expressed the need to destroy Gaza. The death toll, exceeding 23,000, with possibly 10,000 children and women, alone raises serious doubts about Israel’s goal in the war to ‘eliminate Hamas.”

He added that Gaza has become uninhabitable, with places of worship, hospitals, and schools being targeted. Last week, two US Senators visited the crossings in Egypt, witnessing how Israel prevents the entry of humanitarian aid unrelated to weapons.

Israel represented itself 20 years ago in another case…and lost
Muasher emphasized “Israel represented itself before the court 20 years ago in the case of the wall and lost. However, predicting the court's decision is challenging. Some clues may lead to a positive outcome, as all evidence suggests that the war will persist. Israel wants to eliminate Hamas's military capability, but it seems unable to do so despite increasing international pressure to stop the war.”

Muasher also added “If the court's decision favors the lawsuit, it could be an additional factor in stopping the war. South Africa declared that it did not want anyone to join the lawsuit, as it would delay the court's decision. However, the fact that Jordan announced filing proceedings against Israel alone signifies progress in Jordan's position compared to many other Arab countries.”

MP Saleh Al-Armouti told Jordan News that what South Africa has done is an advanced and commendable step. “South Africa sent a written memorandum to the Zionist entity to respond to the complaint within a limited period. Any member state has the right to join South Africa and submit pleadings and written memoranda guided by the court,” he said.

I am very optimisticHe added, "I am very optimistic because the court relies on data from countries, international organizations, and human rights, all of which present clear and strong arguments. If the International Court of Justice decides to cease fire, it will be a decisive indication that the enemy has committed genocide against the Palestinian people."

The ICJ case can be used for evidence in the ICC
He added that those who filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court (ICC) can rely on the decision issued by the ICJ to condemn the entity for crimes, using it as evidence against the US Secretary of State, Biden, and others who provided assistance to the entity and supported the killing of children, women, and elderly civilians. This complaint has caused significant concern for Israel.

Armouti said Jordan had previously filed a complaint in 2004 to the Security Council, which the Security Council turned into an advisory opinion to the ICJ regarding the "Separation Wall." The ICJ stated that the wall is contrary to international law and must be removed, but to this day, it has not been dismantled.

He pointed out that if a condemnation decision is issued, this will tamper with global public opinion which may have once held the occupation to a high standard, including its accomplices, with the US being a staunch supporter of the occupation defending itself.

He also noted that Jordan has signed and ratified the Genocide Convention since 1950, and similarly, the Israeli occupation signed it in 1949. Therefore, this decision will be binding on all signatory states and those that have ratified the law on preventing genocide.

Raising the complaint alone is a significant step
Furthermore, Political Analyst Ismat Mansour, specializing in Israeli affairs, told Jordan News “The complaint is a very brave step taken by a country against Israel. Just raising the complaint against Israel and bringing it to the ICJ has a significant impact and value because Israel has put itself in a position to justify its behavior. This complaint is built on statements made by Israelis themselves, constituting a scandal for Israel regardless of the lawsuit's outcome.”

He also stated that Israel is well-prepared to respond to this complaint and is making significant efforts.

Regardless of the court's decision, the war will not stop because stopping it or even achieving a stalemate would be a defeat for Israel and, consequently, its end.

Mansour also indicated that “The US will exert pressure on the court to reject the case at multiple levels to ensure that no decisions are issued in favor of the Palestinian cause.”

If Israel loses it is binding and not subject to discussion
He concluded, "I am optimistic, but cautiously so because Israel is arming itself with many legal measures to make this lawsuit difficult and to consider itself above the law. If Israel loses the lawsuit, it will face a dilemma because the court's decision is binding and not subject to discussion."

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